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100 hard lessons I inevitably learnt from blogging

100 things blogging

Bam! I decided it’s time I cooked up a post on what I’ve learnt over the past 2 years of blogging.

Blogging is some crazy shit man. There’re so many nuances to it, not just because it’s a platform for art (in my case, writing), that it is a business, but that blogging is kind of spiritual.

When you blog and write like hell, you grow as a person.

Without further ado, let’s cut to it!

1) It isn’t a matter of, “Build up some shit. Get the traffic and then conversions will automatically happen”. It really isn’t that easy. Otherwise, everyone with some shitty free blog would be in business.

2) You can’t just shell out mediocre content and expect people to come. You got to write out your best shit ever with all your heart and soul.

3) That being said, your blog is your art. Express yourself and create yo.

4) So don’t bother creating content for the sole purpose of going viral or gaining a specific result. I tried it before, and it usually doesn’t work.

5) Be good at really something first. Be known for it. Then grow later. Most newbies make the mistake of trying to grow first with a bunch of cheap, bullshit tactics. You can’t grow with mediocre content. A weak foundation would just mean failure later.

6) First impressions count, so have a nicely designed layout.

7) But nice also means you need to be neat and organized. Don’t confuse readers.

8) Be daring. Gain some balls to create something different.

9) Reading and learning about blogging online can only get you so far. Sooner or later you’re going to have to take the reins and do something scary.

10) If you feel uncomfortable, it’s a sign calling out to you to start getting out of your comfort zone to grow.

11) Learning how to make money is easy. Taking action to make it happen isn’t.

12) Write as often as you can. Don’t hold back on the inspiration! Write it!

13) Also, don’t hold back on your next best idea. There’s no perfect timing. Just get it done!

14) When you’re working, get off Facebook. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you can be. Heck, you’ll be surprised with what you can do with your time in your life outside of Facebook!

15) Try to get off YouTube too. I know, you want to listen to some music while you work right? More often than not, a lot of time is wasted typing and searching for songs. And you’ll be tempted to look at the video itself.

16) Ignore the trolls and haters. They’re nuts. They’ve nothing better to do but bring others down to their level.

17) But it’s very okay to have criticism. It’s a sign people are listening and that they respect you.

18) Don’t be afraid of people unsubscribing from your list. They do not belong there. Let them be on their way.

19) Be extremely wary of people trying to sell you their products on how to blog or make money online. Their methods may have worked for them, but most likely not for you.

20) Be extremely wary of people telling you it’s extremely easy to do this or that. They’re probably lying.

21) Put in the effort to talk to a potential coach or mentor. Screen them, and get to know them. I did not before and got conned. My first “mentor” disappeared completely with my money.

22) Coaches and mentors can only teach you what they believe in. They cannot however forge your path and guide you all the way. You need to do that yourself.

23) Don’t look up to everybody just because you’re a newbie. I made this mistake and put up everybody else on a pedestal. I soon found myself disagreeing with a lot of their ideas. Remember, blogging is your art, and no one can take that away from you.

24) Have the guts to disagree with successful people. They may be successful, but that doesn’t mean they’re always right. I did it once with a well known blogger. We got into a mini argument, but I’ve have zero regrets with my decision.

25) Outsource the things you’re not passionate about. There’s no point trying to control everything. It’ll just tire you out.

26) Invest in a course early so you can learn the ropes. But do your research first.

27) Invest in only ONE course. They’re all pretty much the same anyway. Again, sooner or later you need to get out of your comfort zone and take the reins for yourself. This is something no course, coach or mentor can teach you.

28) It’s okay to be controversial online, but it’s not cool to be intentionally scandalous or hostile.

29) Read everyday. Create a folder of bloggers you look up to and read what they have to say everyday.

30) Listen to interviews of other bloggers.

31) The negative voices from your haters are not the only voices around. The positive ones are there. Yo’re just letting the former drown them out.

32) When you’ve a new idea, write it down in your phone or notepad instantly. You don’t ever wanna forget it!

33) Fellow entrepreneurs are not your friends. They are just way too busy for you. Trust me on this. I’ve a cynical take on this. You can get to know all the entrepreneurs you want, but you’ll soon realize that your emails or Skype messages go unanswered often.

34) The real friends you make online are those who are also struggling. They’re going to be your friends for life! I’ve a couple of them now. It’s only a few, but I love them. We don’t get too preachy up our own asses of our businesses.

35) Get out of the house! Staring at your computer screen everyday can hurt your eyes. Being cooped up in your room or home office can be very tiring to your life.

36) It’s okay to take breaks! Just because you’re going to be the next successful awesome entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to work 18 hours a day. That’s overwhelming. Taking a break wouldn’t kill your blog.

37) It’s okay to fuck up and make all the mistakes you want. More often than not, we only remember the worst of it, while others don’t really see it.

38) If at any time you feel lost, aim to help others. You can never go wrong with that.

39) Get over what others will think of you. Share your articles, your views, your opinions with abandon. Don’t be scared.

40) Write and create a post with actionable, guided steps in it, that way people can have a takeaway from your awesome article.

41) Posting a single picture or video doesn’t count for a blog post. Put in some effort bitch. Include your unique insights.

42) If you want to do something and everyone else isn’t doing it, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It means you’re unique and you should try to take charge and trail blaze that shit.

43) Blogging as a career is not something everybody does. So when you talk about it to others, don’t expect everyone to take you seriously.

44) Failure isn’t meant to be feared. It’s not even worth feeling like shit over. Celebrate what you failed instead.

45) Don’t be taken in by too many mediums. Some people are good at podcasts, some at videos, some at writing. Choose the one you’re most passionate about and stick with it.

46) An expensive product doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.

47) So do your research. Don’t splurge on some expensive course in the hopes that it’d solve all your problems.

48) You may read about how this or that successful person went through the hard times to get to where they are today. It is super inspiring. But when you experience your own hard times, it’s going to feel like shit. Overwhelming even. Find the strength to keep going and don’t give up.

49) There’s no such thing as luck. I personally don’t believe in luck. It’s all about hard work and then grabbing the opportunities that come. So open up your eyes, and be open to ideas.

50) Everyone always has their own challenges, so don’t be too envious of others’ success. You’ve your own challenges and your own destiny to create.

51) Connect with as many bloggers as you can. The minute you find a blog you like, drop them an email and say you like their shit, and that you want to connect.

52) Don’t be shy! Just connect! You’ll be surprised how even the most seemingly busy blogger or business person would reply your email.

53) When someone seems to be really nice to you, that person may be trying to sell you on his services. You’ll see it.

54) A lot of “nice” people actually use marketing talk (or NLP even) to get their way. I once had a guy on Facebook give me a lot of free advice. He wanted to set up an official Skype call. I said I was very overwhelmed with work. He replied that he’s not usually on Facebook so he wouldn’t know when we can speak again.

The very next day, he was on Facebook, telling me that I’ve yet to set up the meeting (as if it was my responsibility). So much for him not being on Facebook.

55) Empower Network is pure MLM (multi level marketing) in which people who succeed in it are those who are good at getting high numbers recruited. It’s rarely about adding value through blogging, as they always advertise. Fuck, I’ve personally never seen an Empower Network blog being used as a friggin blog.

And yes. I tried out EN and failed miserably. If you want to try it out, learn how it actually works from the outside first.

56) You’ve 24 hours in a day. Say you get a good sleep of 8 hours. You still have 16 hours. Take away another 8 for work, 2 for commute,  and even 2 for a nap. You still have 4 hours to do whatever you want.

What’s your excuse?

57) Create your first product and get it out there. Get that first dollar earned. You may not be making thousands of dollars so fast, but this experience will set in motion what you really need to do.

58) Many people, especially those who hate their jobs are very interested in what you do. They’re very intrigued by people who take the road less travelled. Revel in it! Take major pride of being a blogger. I have a lot of friends who ask me constantly what I do and how I make money online. It’s kind of cool.

59) It isn’t all about traffic and the numbers. Sending a ton of traffic to a shitty blog is like pouring water in a leaky bucket.

60) There’re many, many reasons why people don’t buy your product. The reasons can range from lack of money, a bad copy, they missed your email, they didn’t see the sales page or they’re in a bad mood.

61) But at the end of the day, it’s about whether you can transfer a particular value to them and further proving that your product can add even more value. Focus on this fully. The rest will take care of itself. Focusing on the smallest reasons would just be never ending.

62) You need EVERYTHING for a business to work. I, like a lot of newbies, thought it was okay to be good at just one thing. E.g. “Who cares if my product is mediocre? I’ll just have a stellar copy and people will buy anyway!” or vice versa.

Nah. You gotta be good at it all. Decent at least. You aren’t doing yourself any favours if you think it’s okay to suck at one aspect.

63) Quit your job to start a blogging career only when it makes sense. Don’t quit for the sake of it. Going broke and not having any financial security is not something to joke about. I quit my job and jumped in a couple of years ago and now I’m paying the price (or not, since I don’t even have much).

64) Hence, it is very okay to work a job while you work on your blogging career/dream at the side. The financial security would at least give you the confidence to move forward and take risks.

65) When some seemingly successful person says shit like, “You’ve so much potential” or “I’ve been waiting for you” or even “You can be like me in the future”, it means they’re trying to recruit you or sell you something. They honestly don’t give a fuck about you.

66) Successful people today all had their low period. You just don’t see it. However much you think you’re struggling now, you’re probably doing way better than most.

67) Attend a live seminar at least once. The inspiration from a live event and meeting real people is awesome. It can propel you forward with great momentum.

68) Inspiration doesn’t last. What? So you read one article of some famous dude and you felt totally hyped right? But why is it whenever you think of that article today, it feels like nothing? That’s because you need to get yourself re-inspired.

Get out there and open up to inspiration.

69) Don’t be jealous of others’ success. You’ve your own path to forge. And your success is going to be extremely unique.

70) Make sure your blog posts are easily shareable. Include some social media buttons for people to share.

71) “Viral” has become an annoying buzzword IMO. Don’t aim for it.

72) “Epic” is overrated. Sometimes, don’t aim to create an epic post. Aim instead, to be useful and helpful.

73) Writing is always subjective. One man’s trash is another person’s treasure. Hold dear to your art, but don’t be upset when people have disagreements with you. Just let it go.

74) Typos fucking happen. Get over it.

75) Stop reading disturbing news. Stop watching gory or shocking videos. Block out that tempting headline. It’s not worth having your day ruined. I personally don’t read news at all now.

76) A lot of successful people meditate. That’s what I noticed.

77) Meditation is a game changer not only for your blog, but for your life. Put aside some time to meditate regularly. You’ll be surprised how emptying your mind can help you as you’re flooded with new insights.

78) A lot of people who subscribe to you… will eventually unsubscribe. Don’t freak out when that happens. It’s just how it is.

79) Write and share about your personal life in your articles. It’s cool. People can relate better.

80) It’s best to personally test out an affiliate product so you can confidently promote it to your readers. That’s how you can add authentic value. If you don’t, some of your readers will get mad. Yes… really mad.

81) Your super cool idea of a product may not resonate well with people. Hence, the low sales. I know, it’s super cool, but it doesn’t mean there’s a demand for it. Do your research first. Learn what constitutes demand. Find the pain points of your readers then create a product to solve them.

82) Start your day by watching a motivational video. That really gets things going.

83) Don’t try to appeal to everybody. When you try to appeal to everybody, you appeal to nobody. Start small.

84) Your blog shouldn’t be your diary. If you want to take blogging seriously, make sure it adds value to others. What I like to do (and am known for) is to share my personal life and then provide actionable steps for people to takeaway.

85) Try out all sorts of things… once. If it works out for you, cool. If not, don’t try again. There’s no point constantly trying something out hoping that it would work out. Oh and, don’t try something because it works out for others. If it doesn’t work out for you, that’s cool.

86) Stop thinking about how far ahead you have to go. Think instead, about how far you’ve come along.

87) “Niches are silly when it comes to blogging about life” – Dan, from Single Dad Laughing. Right on! Share the fuck out of your ideas. Don’t worry so much about all the business-y stuff.

88) Let go of toxic relationships and start surrounding yourself with positive people only.

89) Sometimes, things just don’t work out and things get fucked up all over. I’ve had several opportunities of writing for a couple of huge bloggers I looked up to. Then they disappeared completely after a few email exchanges. Yep. That’s how the cookie crumbles.

90) Lower your expectations. That way in life, you won’t be setting yourself up for disappointment.

91) Many people do believe in you.

92) Write and share about your mistakes and embarrassing shit. People love that stuff. And it’s cool. You can inspire people that way.

93) You’ll meet some weirdos online. Don’t let them get to ya. I once had a buyer of one my books email me and criticise me non-stop. His second email was extremely nice as he started giving me advice and shared about his experience. His third email was insulting and demanded a refund.

94) Don’t take everything so seriously.

95) Don’t be sorry about everything. You know why? Because you’re right. And being a nice guy doesn’t mean being a pushover.

96) Naysayers are people who focus their energy on everything else other than their own lives. Don’t do that. You’re better than that. Focus on your own shit and you’ll soar.

97) Your local library is a great resource for free knowledge. Save yourself some money and go to the library instead.

98) Passion is an important driving force in your life. Find it.

99) Have fun with blogging. It can be tough, but if you aren’t waking up everyday having fun and doing what you love, you may have missed the point.

100) It gets easier.

Hope you guys like it man.Do me a favour and share this with your friends okay? Especially those who are into blogging.

If you want me to teach you got to blog, check out my book: Zen Blog – The Little Book of Writing Mastery

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9 comments

  1. Guus - October 31, 2013 4:43 pm

    Wow, really good post. And indeed, you did some hard and good work! Inspiring!

    Reply
  2. Tim - October 31, 2013 5:30 pm

    Nice way of looking back and gleaning all that perspective. Just wondering though, what site did you go to build your blog? I’m using this as my blog: http:/independentpatriot.thoughts.com/ Thanks.

    Reply
    • alden - November 1, 2013 3:37 am

      Using wordpress

      Reply
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  4. Ludvig Sunström - November 24, 2013 3:41 pm

    Hey Alden,

    I really agree with these two!

    6) First impressions count, so have a nicely designed layout.)

    13) Also, don’t hold back on your next best idea. There’s no perfect timing. Just get it done!

    It’s very easy to get “greedy” and act from a state of scarcity where you think that you’ll never create something better ever again. But you will. Perhaps tomorrow. 🙂

    Reply
  5. mlm companies - December 27, 2013 12:12 am

    Hi there, just wanted to say, I loved this blog post. It was funny.
    Keep on posting!

    Reply
  6. Bee Bee - September 23, 2014 11:30 am

    glad to have stumbled here.

    Reply
  7. General Parks - January 13, 2016 3:25 am

    Stumbled across your site from a recommendation from Mantelligence; which I also stumbled across looking for sites in general that would be a good fit for my writing style. Anywho, #48 and #68 really spoke to me. I often talk to friends about knowing that one day I will be looking back on all this, but right now I’m very aware of the hustle and struggle of getting started. it’s exciting and exhausting all at the same time.

    Definitely gonna heed your advice on finding more inspiration. Had kinda already thought about that, and seeing it here made it become real.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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